- A word, especially seen as a test, to distinguish someone as belonging to a particular nation, class, profession etc.
- A slogan, jargon word, or catchphrase closely associated with a particular group and not used very much, or at all, outside of it. Can also apply to ideas, customs, and uses of language.
- A common or longstanding belief or custom associated with a particular group; truism, platitude
Etymology: From Hebrew (ÅibbÅlet) "ear of wheat", with reference to Judges 12:5-6: "Gilead then cut Ephraim off from the fords of the Jordan, and whenever Ephraimite fugitives said, "Let me cross," the men of Gilead would ask, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he said, "No," they then said, "Very well, say Shibboleth." If anyone said, "Sibboleth", because he could not pronounce it, then they would seize him and kill him by the fords of the Jordan." (New Jerusalem Bible)
- It's about time we abandoned the bourgeois that earning money makes you a better person.
- A common saying or belief with little current meaning or truth.
Supplemental Details:Sponsor an extended definition for shibboleth for as little as $10 per month. Click here to contact us.